The University Park City Council knew Tuesday’s YMCA vote was everyone’s top concern. Residents of all ages filled every seat. Boy Scouts standing up to give their introductions lost chairs to last-minute attendees. A request for guidance over the Y decision even dominated the opening prayer. It was no light matter.
"It's taken a long process to get through this," Councilman Thomas Stewart said.
Mayor W. Richard Davis made it clear that the meeting was not a public hearing. It was simply time to vote. The council unanimously passed the 17-page ordinance draft, which had been updated Friday following a special meeting.
In that meeting, the council decided not to recommend a realignment of the Preston Road and Normandy Avenue intersection. Instead, minor tweaks were made to accommodate First Unitarian Church of Dallas parking on Sundays and certain holidays.
"I would like to congratulate both the neighbors and the Y for making this happen," Councilman Bob Begert said. "I hope you’ve felt like we’ve listened to all sides, because I promise you we have."
Following the council’s vote, Mayor Davis explained, the YMCA must present a final, detailed site plan for the council’s review. If that is approved, construction could begin on the 58,500-square-foot facility and its underground parking garage. No solid time estimate was given.
"When we started this process, [Councilwoman] Dawn [Moore] was new to the council, and the rest of us had dark hair," Mayor Pro Tem Bob Clark joked.
But not all residents were happy with the compromises, which have been in the works for more than a year.
"The overarching promise of the Y is that the new Y will not increase the traffic on the neighborhood streets," San Carlos resident Kenneth Raggio said in a prepared statement. "The City Council has legislated that the Y will be held to that promise. We shall see."